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Category Archives: Beach Glass

Production Update

No time for writing today! Just some photos from the weekend. Back to silver – gotta make lots of things FROM the book to go along with SELLING the book. Yippee!

Beach glass bib necklaces:

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Polymer clay bib necklace:

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Steampunk assemblage pendants:

PSX_20150328_115321 PSX_20150328_115755 PSX_20150328_115929 PSX_20150328_120024 PSX_20150328_120134 PSX_20150328_120224

 

Lampwork simple bead pendants:

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That’s it for now! Told you there’d be a wire explosion soon :D

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass!

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

You guys, I am so lucky. My parents, my future mother-in-law and my friends all love to hunt for beach glass and have been bringing me the most delightful finds. Plus, I managed to get out once or twice my own self! It’s completely re-energizing to stand on that beach, look across into infinity and just breathe in the salt air.

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

With the exception of most of the marbles, all of this was found within the past month or so. That huge amber-orange piece (whose colour & rarity I’m having trouble identifying) I was lucky enough to find myself, but the two red/orange art glass pieces were found on different days by different people!

And now, some of the final results:

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

Is this yellow? Or orange? Or honey amber? I can’t tell.

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

Teal!

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

A gorgeous A-grade Gray.

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

This isn’t quite gray, but it’s sorta getting there, which along with the super rounded state, suggests it’s really old. It’s sort of a flattened cylinder which makes me think it used to be a cup handle.

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

Gorgeous piece of Aqua. I think I like the antique gold wire on it; do you?

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

Fabulous yellow!

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

A smooth piece of Jade.

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

A kind of blurry photo of a nice piece of Lavender.

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

Cobalt! So pretty, that cobalt.

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

Fabulous piece of citron – sooo pretty when you hold it up to the light.

Rare & Ultra-Rare Beach Glass

And finally, this amazing piece of art glass that is red which smoothly transitions to orange. It’s got ridges, suggesting it used to be a plate or bowl. It’s kind of small so I had to use smaller gauge wire. It seems like I only get 1 red piece a year, and this is it for this year! The other piece above appears to have come from the exact same piece, and it doesn’t really count because it’s so small I don’t think I’ll be able to use it. But it’s pretty!

In other news, I’ve been thinking of doing a bunch more shows this year. It’s a lot of work and I find them mentally and physically exhausting, but the sales are always good and we’ve got a few wish-projects for around the house, so I think I’ll go for it. Which means I’ve gotta get off the internet and go make some things :)

Stephanie’s Wedding Necklace

Wedding Necklace!

I was given the honour of creating a wedding necklace for my friend Stephanie. She had a fall-coloured wedding and fell in love with the honey-coloured beach glass I’d had in my stash. It went beautifully with the carnelian and pearls she’d already chosen. We had a lovely evening together sorting out what style and size and shape she’d like best. She was exceptionally easy to please :)

I took a few in-progress shots as I went along, maybe you’ll be interested?

Wedding Necklace!

Wedding Necklace!

Wedding Necklace!

Wedding Necklace!

She was a beaming, gorgeous bride and I was proud to have taken a tiny, shiny part in that.

New Camera

This isn’t strictly jewellery-related but I’ve been dying to take photos of our backyard for about 18 months now, and I could never properly capture the forest-like proportions until the new camera got here. And this morning, the gorgeous fog and sunrise I see out my bathroom window nearly every day didn’t fail me. I popped out the window screen and, completely on auto, got this:

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Which is totally gorgeous and almost conveys the real beauty of this scenery (and also how dirty my windows are, but that’s not the point).

But then I started to play with the zoom. Watch at I manually get closer, and closer, and closer to the point where I am literally photographing things I can’t see with the naked eye:

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Click that last one and choose Actions >View All sizes to really see how close I got and the details on the thing.

Let’s take a closer look at that 30x zoom. I can only approximate where the zoomed-in portion was on the original because seriously… the camera sees better than I do.

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!!!!!

Also, some zero-editing (well, a very slight histogram edit) beach glass photos from this afternoon:

Common Beach Glass

Common Beach Glass

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Common Colours

Aqua

Black Beach Glass

Lavender Beach Glass

Yellow Beach Glass

Aqua, true Black, Lavender, Lemon Yellow

That’s all I accomplished this weekend… had a very sleepy Saturday and spent most of Friday hanging out with kittens. It’s hard to tear myself away for any reason!

More Beach Glass

I’ve been pretty sick, you guys – had some vertigo that kept me from doing pretty much anything, and my (brand new) fiance ruptured his calf muscle the same week. We were in a pretty good mess for a while there.

BUT we’re both doing better now, and while I still haven’t been back into the studio, I did find some photos on my camera of the last pieces I completed before the madness hit.

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I am simply in love with even the common beach glass once it’s been oiled. Here are some photos of the last batch I did up for the gallery season opening a month ago.

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That red is pretty spectacular, isn’t it? And check out the turquoise! Such gorgeous colour.

Oh hey, my workbench! Well, part of it. This is the NOT messy part, believe it or not… that’s basically every piece of beach glass I own, out to be oiled in a fanatical spree I had one weekend:

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I’ve been in the garden instead of the studio… well, what’s meant to become a garden, that is. I’m planning to get back in the studio next week though, so hopefully my postings will be back up in volume. I was really enjoying the ease of having my photo studio directly next to my workbench next to my computer, because posting photos of new work is just so simple now. It was frustrating not to be able to do much of anything. But I’m back, baby!

Speaking of Beach Glass…

I came across the idea of combining various colours of beach glass online the other day, and became somewhat obsessed with it. Not sure why I didn’t think of it before, because combining colours is my favourite thing to do… Possibly because wrapping one bit of glass takes long enough; in any case, here are five new necklaces I created using colour combos. I had to basically invent a new way of connecting them, which was also fun.

Each of these contains at least one uncommon-to-rare-to-find colour, and most have several, which is making pricing difficult. I’m trying to keep them affordable and also in proportion to the singles I do… oh, who am I kidding, pricing is always difficult.

Anyway. Here are the pictures!

Beach Glass Necklaces

Beach Glass Necklaces

Beach Glass Necklaces

Seaglass Necklaces

Seaglass Necklaces

Only that last one got the olive oil treatment before assembly, sadly.

What do you think?

Beach Glass Magic

I was doing a little research on drilling beach glass and discovered an incidental piece of advice that actually changed everything. It’s a whole new ball game. Apparently, if you rub sea glass with a little olive oil and polish it back off with a cloth, it freaking well glows. Allow me to demonstrate:

Planning!

These are some colour combos I was working out on my bench. Probably, these pieces are too small to successfully wrap together, but by heck I’m’a gonna try! Now, take a look at the exact same pieces after the olive oil treatment, in the same spot with the same overhead lighting and the same camera settings:

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These are in no way greasy or wet, but just LOOK at them! The oil has completely removed the salt residue (which I could not get rid of no matter the amount of soap) and left an amazing glowy surface instead which allows the glass to light up from the inside.

Game-changing.

Rare Beach Glass

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I actually wrapped nearly every piece of rare beach glass I have ever found or been given! I WISH I’d found that orange piece, it’s spectacular, but my friend Angie found it and was kind enough to hand it over. The pink was super fun to find, and my parents actually have been doing a lot of beachcombing lately and picked up the grey, yellow, and the marble just last week! The teal, turquoise, pink, aqua and lavender I’ve been hanging onto fearfully for years.

These are on their way to Arts North.

Coal Pendants

The coal industry has been a big deal in Cape Breton for decades. It’s been slowly shutting down, but of course the coal is still here – and it washes up on our beaches, all soft and beautiful. I give it a semi-gloss coat of sealant (because coal, it is the dirty) and turn it into jewellery – don’t you love it?

Beachcombed Coal Pendant

Beachcombed Coal Pendant

Beachcombed Coal Pendant

Photographs

I finally found a setting that doesn’t look completely lame when taking beach glass pendant photos – a fistful of my white beachglass, a couple pieces of driftwood, some sand dollars and a shell! I think these came out really fabulous and as soon as my camera’s battery is charged up again (grr), I’ll be taking some more.

Beach Glass Pendant

Beach Glass Pendant

Beach Glass Pendant

Fall Beachcombing

I think the fall is one of the best times to go searching for beach glass and other bits, because A) there’s fewer people around and B) the storms really churn up what’s out there and drag it up onto shore! I’ve made some of my best finds in the fall.

It being a long weekend, I found myself on an area of the island I’m not normally near, so I took advantage of the gorgeous weather, borrowed a bucket, and set out to fill it.

I asked a native where to go, and she sent me to an easily accessible little strip of beach:

Tiny strip of beach

Wasn’t much to it, but oh boy did I hit the jackpot on coal bits! I then took my little borrowed Shrek bucket to a beach I often visit, and which the recent winds have churned up. It was an utterly gorgeous day, and lots of folks were walking the boardwalk. I had my eye on the rock piles, though!

there i am! sort of.

I got the haul home and washed off the salt and dirt, and oh boy was I excited. I realized I don’t pick up as much brown as there probably is when I accidentally found a couple of pieces which I’d originally thought of as rocks. They don’t glint as nicely as the other colours!

Beachcombing haul

I was so pleased with the beautifully rounded – and therefore really old – pieces I’d found that I whipped out my tools and made pendants, even though yesterday was supposed to be a ring-making day. I am just ecstatically happy with the results.

beachcombed = beautiful!

Beachcombed, sorted

I sorted my beach glass! This is everything I have. I thought it might be neat to show the actual rarity of the colours by volume. Here is all of it:

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(click for larger + notes)

And a close-up on my precious pieces:

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I’m surprised at how little brown I had – I actually was given four or five of the largest of those pieces. The huge cobalt blue piece my mom has had since I was a little girl – the rest are actually quite tiny. There’s some dark olive greens that are quite nice, and some of my darker teals. Or aquas. I am never sure which is which! And finally, my precious precious bag of the rarest colours there are.

There’s only one piece in there I haven’t found myself, and that’s the orange. It’s a piece of ‘depression glass’ that my friend Angie found personally and gave it to me because I was literally drooling. OH wait and that large lavender piece and I think the big blue marble were also given to me by people who found them on local beaches. The red piece was the highlight of my beachcombing life :) The tiny pink piece, at the bottom, was also fun. And there’s a couple of yellow pieces that were also quite exciting – not to mention that black marble!

Ahh, memories. It’s lovely when I make something out of one of these and then someone buys it. Two of my three personally-found marbles are in homes, and it pleases me no end.

Beachcombing

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve beachcombed this year. I really need to get more of it done, I am running out of what I picked up last year. And two evenings out, I found a PINK piece, my very first true pink!

I’ve been really enjoying the limestone – there’s a particular beach that yields the loveliest oval pendants. I’ve been getting a lot of coal as well. New this year is brick – I found a beach that has lots of brick bits that I’m hoping will be really nice when wrapped.

Click on any of the images below for a larger look and a little description.

An evening's haul

Sorting!

Limestone pendants & usable beach glass

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Beachcombed Jewellery

I had a very fun weekend making a lot of new jewellery from old glass, shells, pottery and coal found on the beaches of Cape Breton.

There’s a new Ocean Harvest Charms series which consists of local stone drilled by Laird and wrapped by me with the inclusion of pewter or sterling silver charms. I think these are so beautiful:
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I managed to wrap some of the rarer beach glass I’ve found, including an extremely tiny piece of red & a gorgeous teal droplet:

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I also made many many common-coloured beach glass pendants:
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This was all in preparation for A) the flea market, which was yesterday, and B) sending more work to Arts North.

Well, all the flea market did was make me ache all over (who sanctioned the use of concrete for floors, ever?). Barely made any money whatsoever. I did get lots of interest and lots of people took my card, so that’s good I guess.

It does reinforce my belief that I should never ever try to sell my own work. I’m simply no good at it. Someone looks at me and I smile and look away; someone looks at Angie and she immediately starts to talk about my jewellery. I should just hire her as my personal representative.

Beach Glass

I had a beautiful time on the beach with my love on Saturday. We only got a smidge burned, we had a ridiculous amount of fun, and I found my first, one and only, true piece of RED BEACH GLASS! Holy smokes! They say for every 5000 pieces of glass, only one is red. And there it was! Jewellery-sized and staring me in the face!

I also found three marbles including a black one and a yellow on e, two real live yellow pieces (also extremely rare) (one may or may not be pottery or plastic), a piece of lavendar/pink which is really old, and a whole pile of blue and aqua. Squee!

Check it out:

beach glass find

The tiny raspberry-looking piece was in my bag from our aborted trip to Kennington Cove. It’s not genuine beach glass as I found it on the road – so it could be called dirt glass, I suppose. It’s still rounded and pretty.

Also, I now have enough colours to do one of these!

beach glass colour wheel

AND I just got some jewellery glue and used it to attach the itty bitty teeeeeeeny weeny blue pieces that I’ve been finding to larger white pieces, and they’re turning out quite well (no photos until the finished pieces are ready).

I’m also on a continual hunt for the perfect lighting conditions for photos. For this I was using Laird’s stupid ultra cool camera. I didn’t put it in the light box because I was just playing around, and I figured it was bright enough from the window. I laid everything out first on a new gray fabric I just got for trying this sort of thing, and then on a super-bright white piece of bristol board. Surprisingly (sort of), the gray is much better.

The white throws off the camera’s white balance or levels or something. Quite annoying! I’ll have to re-line the inside of my photo box. Or something. The quest continues!